After Nigerian protestors marched on parliament in the capital Abuja calling for action on April 30, people in cities around the world have followed suit and organised their own marches.
A social media campaign under the hashtag #Bringbackourgirls started trending in Nigeria two weeks ago and has now been tweeted more than one million times. It was first used on April 23 at the opening ceremony for a UNESCO event honouring the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt as the 2014 World Book Capital City. A Nigerian lawyer in Abuja, Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, tweeted the call in a speech by Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Vice President of the World Bank for Africa to “Bring Back the Girls!”
Another mass demonstration took place outside the Nigerian Defence Headquarters in Abuja on May 6 and many other protests have been organised in response to a social media campaign asking for people around the world to march and wear red in solidarity. People came out in protest at the Nigerian embassy in London, in Los Angeles and New York.
A global “social media march” has also been organised asking supporters to use their networks to promote the campaign for 200 minutes on May 8.
A petition started on Change.org by a Nigerian woman in solidarity with the schoolgirls has now been signed by more than 300,000 supporters.
Amnesty International and UNICEF have backed the campaign, as well as world leaders and celebrities, including Hilary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai and rappers Wyclef Jean and Chris Brown, whose mention of the campaign was retweeted more than 10,000 times.
After three weeks of silence the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan vowed to find the schoolgirls on April 3, stating: “wherever these girls are, we’ll get them out”. On the same day, John Kerry pledged assistance from the US.”